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Galaxy Tab S8: Samsung relies on tablets in three sizes


Samsung equips its new Galaxy Tab S tablets with OLED displays up to 14.6 inches, a fast processor and the S Pen.

With three variants, Samsung renews its tablet series Galaxy Tab S. As with the previous generation, the most important distinguishing feature is the display. In the top model Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, it competes with notebooks and surpasses Apple's largest iPad Pro.

With a diagonal of 14.6 inches and a resolution of 2960 × 1848 pixels, it surpasses the Galaxy Tab S8 and Galaxy Tab S8+ variants. The former offers 11 inches and 2560 × 1600 pixels, the latter 12.4 inches and 2800 × 1752 pixels. In addition to the size and resolution, the panel technology could be a selection criterion. The base model has an LC display, while Samsung relies on Super AMOLED panels for the S8+ and S8 Ultra. All three tablets, on the other hand, offer a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz.

The processor is also identical. While Samsung relies on its own System on a Chip (SoC) Exynos 2200 for the also announced Galaxy S22, the Galaxy Tab S8 series contains a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. The octa-core chip can fall back on 8 GB or 12 GB of RAM in the Tab S8 and Tab S8+, depending on the configuration, while Samsung also offers a 16 GB version of the Tab S8 Ultra. The size of the memory expandable by micro SD card is 128, 256 or 512 GByte, depending on the configuration; the latter option is reserved for the S8 Ultra.

Fast charging only for an extra charge

Further distinguishing features concern the front camera and the battery capacities. The Tab S8 Ultra has two 12-megapixel cameras on the front – once each with wide- and ultra-wide-angle optics – and an 11,200 mAh battery. In the Tab S8 and Tab S8+, on the other hand, only the ultra-wide-angle camera is available. The battery holds 8000 mAh or 10,090 mAh. Charging is possible with up to 45 W in all three variants, but Samsung only offers the necessary fast charging adapter as an option.

In terms of connectivity, Samsung dispenses with differences between the three tablet models. All support Wi-Fi 6E (IEEE 802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.2 and offer a USB-C socket (USB 3.2 Gen 1) as the only physical port. For an additional charge of 150 euros each, an integrated 5G mobile modem enables Internet access far away from a WLAN.

Other similarities concern the cameras on the back. For photos and videos, a wide-angle camera with 13 megapixels and an ultra-wide-angle camera with 6 megapixels are available. In addition, Samsung equips all models with the S Pen stylus.

Android 12 with update and upgrade promises

Its support is just as much a part of the Android 12-based software package One UI 4.1 as are advanced security features. As a result, apps can no longer easily access cameras and microphones. Personal data is encrypted in the Knox Vault and stored separately from the operating system. The tablets themselves are protected against unauthorized access with a fingerprint sensor, among other things. With the Tab S8, the corresponding sensor sits in the standby button, with the Tab S8+ and Tab S8 Ultra, Samsung uses an optical sensor integrated into the display. Samsung wants to keep the operating system up to date for several years. For example, the Tab S8 models are to receive security updates over a period of five years. The company wants to make Android upgrades in the form of new Android versions available for a maximum of four years.

Other software innovations concern the fitness app Samsung Health, which is available for the first time in an adapted version for a Galaxy tablet, as well as the extended interaction with other Samsung hardware. The Tab S8 models can be used as a second display on Samsung notebooks – including touch operation. Via the Quick Share function, the easy exchange of data with the new Galaxy S22 is possible, Auto Switch should allow a smooth switching of the Galaxy Buds headphones.

Front cameras in the notch

Visually, the Tab S8 Ultra differs slightly from the two smaller variants. For example, the front cameras sit here in a display recess (notch) and thus protrude into the visible area – with the Tab S8 and Tab S8+ they are housed in the display frame. With 20.9 cm × 32.6 cm, the Tab S8 Ultra clearly surpasses the other two models – 16.5 cm × 25.4 cm for the Tab S8 and 18.5 × 28.5 cm for the Tab S8+ – in width and height. The thickness of all three is almost identical. The situation is different with weight. At about 500 g, the Tab S8 is the lightest of the new tablets. The Tab S8+ brings it to about 570 g, the Tab S8 Ultra to almost 730 g.

Sales of the Galaxy Tab S8 models are scheduled to start in February 2022. The recommended retail price for the Galaxy Tab S8 is between 749 euros and 949 euros, depending on the equipment. For the Galaxy Tab S8+, Samsung charges 949 euros to 1149 euros. For the 14.6-inch Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, the company calls 1149 euros to 1599 euros. (pbe)